Mystery Firm Gives $1 million to Romney-backed Political Committee, then Dissolves

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Restore Our Future is the new political organization created specifically to help elect Mitt Romney. W Spann LLC is a corporation that just gave them $1 million dollars. 

Or, it used to be. 

Weeks after that company cut its seven-figure check, it dissolved. No one knows who was funding the firm or where their money came from. 

NBC News broke this story yesterday based on a Federal Election Commission filing. The mystery company was created in March by a “Boston lawyer who specializes in estate tax planning for ‘high net worth individuals,’ according to corporate records and the lawyer’s bio on her firm’s website.”

The firm dissolved on July 12th, only weeks before the first Federal Election Commission filing was due.

This revelation raises specific legal issues.

A federal campaign finance law prohibits a straw donor from making a federal contribution through a corporate entity. Paul Ryan, counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, spoke about this campaign finance prohibition:

And it may be the case that if the human or humans behind it put money into the corporate treasury specifically for the purpose of passing it on to a political committee, then that to me would seem to be violation on the ban on making a contribution in the name of another.

The incident suggests frightening avenues for political givers to circumvent the rules—and raises specific questions about the willingness of Republicans to become a receptacle for special interest money, no matter who is cutting the check. 

Two independent campaign finance watchdog organizations, Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, have called on the Justice Department to investigate possible criminal behavior surrounding the matter.